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Speech by Minister Lim Hng Kiang at opening ceremony of Chevron Oronite Company LLC's Singapore Expansion Project at 21 Sakra Road, Jurong Island

Speech by Minister Lim Hng Kiang at opening ceremony of Chevron Oronite Company LLC's Singapore Expansion Project at 21 Sakra Road, Jurong Island

Mr Xiao Jirong, Mr Curtis Anderson, Vice-President of Chevron Oronite
 
Distinguished guests
 
Ladies and Gentlemen
 
Good afternoon.
 
Introduction: Extending the Chevron – Singapore Partnership
 
1                It gives me great pleasure to join you today to celebrate the completion of Chevron Oronite’s Singapore Expansion Project.  I would like to first congratulate Chevron Oronite on this significant occasion.
 
2                Oronite and Singapore share a long-standing partnership.  Since its initial investment in a fuel and lubricant additives manufacturing plant in 1999, Oronite has grown its operations in Singapore to become the largest wholly-owned facility for Chevron in Asia Pacific, as well as the region’s largest lubricant additives manufacturing site.  The success of Oronite’s Singapore operations has led to continual upgrades and improvements that have resulted in the doubling of production capacity since it first opened. 
 
3                This latest expansion is yet another major milestone for Oronite, and signals its confidence in Singapore as the base from which it can extend its position as a leader in the lubricant additives segment.  The expansion of Oronite’s manufacturing footprint is also a sign of Chevron Corporation’s long-term commitment to Singapore as its Asia Pacific operations hub.  This is also shown in the wide range of functions which Chevron has located in Singapore, including upstream development, trading, and its Asia-Pacific regional headquarters for all downstream fuels businesses and joint ventures. 
 
Leveraging upon Asia as the leading market for lubricant additives
 
4                Asia’s booming demand for automotives has made it the fastest-growing regional lubricants market in the world, representing 43% of global volume[1] in 2012.  For instance, the number of vehicles on the roads in Southeast Asia is expected to exceed 90 million by 2030, tripling from less than 30 million in 2011[2]. 
 
5                As a leading regional distribution hub and a top bunkering hub, Singapore provides an ideal location from which to meet the strong demand for lubricant additives in Asia.  Our strong IP laws and talented workforce are also strong advantages in this knowledge-intensive industry.  Oronite’s Singapore Expansion Project will be its primary supply base to this important region and help extend its lead as the world’s top manufacturer of lubricant additives, making full use of Singapore’s advantages to meet burgeoning regional demand. 
 
Lubricants value chain as a new edge for Singapore’s Energy & Chemicals industry
 
6                We will continue to grow lubricant additives as a key vertical within the higher value added specialty chemicals sector.  Over the last two years, companies in the lubricant additives segment have invested over S$400 million into Singapore, with additional developments planned in the near future.  This has been facilitated by our unparalleled infrastructure on Jurong Island, which ensures companies here are well placed to develop and drive their Asia operations across the entire petrochemical value chain. 
 
7                We are also enhancing our position in the broader lubricants value chain.  The upcoming Singapore Lubricants Park, which is scheduled for completion in 2015, will bring Shell, Sinopec and Total together to formulate higher value products.  We are working with industry partners as they move towards refinery upgrades which will facilitate the production of higher quality base oils to meet the growing global demand for premium lubricants.  Growing this combination of activities in lubricant base oils, lubricant formulation and lubricant additives will extend the lead of our Energy & Chemicals industry. 
 
A showcase for productivity and good jobs for Singaporeans
 
8                The Singapore Expansion Project is also a good example of how innovative solutions can lead to greater efficiency and productivity.  The project optimized land use by building tall tanks – almost 20 metres high, reducing its land footprint and saving land for future expansions.  Meanwhile, the tanks’ construction time was reduced using an innovative technique of automated welding, reducing the reliance on manual labour and resulting in higher reliability and quality welding.  Such practices are important for companies to raise land and labour productivity.  Furthermore, by speeding up the construction process, these techniques can also significantly reduce associated costs and turnaround times for energy and chemicals companies. 
 
9                Apart from raising productivity, Oronite’s activities have also created good jobs for Singaporeans and helped ensure a sustained pipeline of skilled local talent by grooming Singaporean employees to develop them into industry leaders. 
 
10            Two such employees who have excelled at Chevron Oronite are Azman Bin Ramli and Alfian Raman.  Mr. Ramli started his career as an ITE graduate, joining Chevron Oronite as an Operations Technician in 1998.  Over 15 years in the company, Mr. Ramli not only advanced his career, but was also given the opportunity to further his studies with the support of Oronite’s employee educational program.  He eventually earned a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from NUS.  Having served as a Senior Operations Technician and Lead Operations Technician, today Mr. Ramli holds the position of Coordinator for Operations Projects, liaising with various teams to ensure the smooth transition from project to base operations. 
 
11            Mr. Raman joined Chevron Oronite more recently, in 2004, after completing his Diploma in Electrical Engineering from Singapore Polytechnic.  He started as an operations technician under Oronite’s Fresh Technician Trainee programme and has since been promoted to the position of Operations Planner, playing a vital role in the design and implementation of projects.
 
12            Both Mr. Ramli and Mr. Raman illustrate the good career progression and employee development that companies in the chemicals industry offer.  This continuous nurturing of the local talent base allows companies to build a stable and highly-skilled local talent pool, which is key to delivering superior growth and giving firms, such as Oronite, the confidence to continue investing in Singapore.  With the energy and chemicals industry in Singapore poised for continued growth, Singaporeans have a wide spectrum of exciting job opportunities on offer, ranging from commercial and research roles, to manufacturing and operations jobs.
 
Conclusion
 
13            In closing, I would like to extend my congratulations once again to the management and staff of Chevron Oronite for the completion of its Singapore Expansion Project.  Singapore is pleased and proud to have a partner like Oronite in the development of our Energy and Chemicals industry.  I thank you for your continued trust and commitment to Singapore, and I look forward to growing our partnership in the years to come. 
 
Thank you.
 
 

[2] Source: Deutsche Bank Research, ASEAN auto market: Growing in the shadow of China and India
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